Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Those Crystals!

Waking up to one of the bigger snows we've had in years, I was curious to what benefit this is to my wheat and cover crops and to the fertilizer I just put down 5 weeks ago.  The fertilizer has crystal structures in it, too.

The structured water comparison got me to thinking about this.  I always knew there was great power in crystalline structure from a snowflake to a crystal radio to the fertilizer crystal shapes to the beautiful stones used to adorn women.

"As compared to rapid progress achieved since 1912 in the analysis of crystal structure, et was only after 1930 that the understanding of crystal growth mechanisms at atomistic level started. However, both have their roots in the curiosity in the 17th Century on a wide variety of forms that crystals exhibited.

Most people will imagine from the word of crystal growth, semiconductor crystals like silicon and gallium arsenide or synthetic gemstones. The success in these industries has been achieved through deep understanding of atomistic process of crystal growth and defect formation. We should however remember that the recent days achievement in obtaining and utilizing highly perfect single crystalline materials to improve the quality of our life has its root in pure curiosity on the origin of various forms of crystals.

This curiosity creates another new curiosity in the present days, even after three centuries. Problems relating to forms of crystals are closely related problems to biological activities, formation and changes of solid materials in the Earth and Planets. We may decipher letters sent from the depth of the Earth or from the Space, and also written in the living bodies, by properly understanding the origin of forms and their variations of crystals. No more pages, regretably, are left to discuss these problems. So I shall conclude this article by citing two phrases by the late Sir Charles Frank.

“If one could understand enough about the morphology of crystals, he understood essential points of fundamentals of crystal growth”. 

“Diamonds are letters sent from the depth of the Earth. They are letters conveying more interesting information than snow flakes which are sent from the sky. We can not reach the depth of the Earth”.

Ed

5 comments:

  1. Someone posted a temperature chart on NAT some weeks ago, he had a sensor at ground level, and one above ground level. It was funny to suddenly see the ground sensor stay relatively warm and stable, while the air sensor got much colder and fluctuated more wildly. Snow cover of course. That crystalline structure of snow flakes really creates a deep air mattress over the ground, no wonder wheat and some beans or flowers are ready for a jump start even before the snow has fully melted, they've been working down under building their root system.

    Funny also how these perfect crystals need to be triggered by a small imperfection that starts their growth. Reminds me of these (Napoleon?) soldiers in Russia who were crossing a river with sub freezing water, the agitation of the water was enough to flash freeze the river, soldiers and horses together in a big "crystal".

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  2. Typhus decimated the army but the cold surely finished them off!

    http://entomology.montana.edu/historybug/napoleon/typhus_russia.htm

    It's funny how you call the stirring of the water a small imperfection that started the crystal growth. That's a pretty powerful statement.

    If you find a link to the story, I would be interested in seeing it.

    Ed

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  3. Well the impurity is a necessary starter for the growth of silicone wafers, so I suppose the same was true for the freezing of the river, agitation of the mud or the clothes of the soldiers in contact with the water.
    Like the Asians who would insert a minuscule jade Buddha in an oyster so that it will protect itself against the foreign matter and thus produce a pearl.

    I read the flash frozen river story in a book decades ago, before the Internet, not sure if it was an history book or a novel. Probably the latter, and not true, since I can't seem to find anything about it on the web. Now that I think of it, a river flash freezing would have started immediately as the first horses or men crossed the river, so they wouldn't be taken by the ice conveniently right in the middle of the river. Damn novelists! ;)

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